The Baron hurt. In many places. He did not like this fact. There were many facts already that he didn’t like - being buried, from a geographical standpoint, was quite shitty - but hurting seemed to possess an immediacy that the other facts lacked.
He was not buried for long. But he was hurting for a while.
The boulder pinning The Baron’s left leg pulled away, and he winced at the sudden onrush of light hitting his face. He instinctively checked his glasses - Good, still intact, amazingly not cracked for once - and peered up at the bulky silhouette of his rescuer. The man looked like a shaggy angel, and The Baron knew why, though he would never admit it to anyone.
“Thanks,” he grunted, extending a hand. “Help an old man up?”
Rather than take the hand, Traveller pointed. “Your leg doesn’t look right. It’s kinda funny.”
The Baron rolled his eyes, brushed a thick layer of pebbles off of his cloak, and checked his leg. It was indeed at a funny angle, bent abruptly upward. Clearly broken. He winced, gritted his teeth, and flexed his Non flesh until it was looking normal again. Traveller watched it bend with grim curiosity, even comically biting his nails at one point. The Baron almost laughed, despite the pain.
“There,” The Baron said, lifting his tender leg and bending it twice. “Good as not-so-new. Help an old man up?”
Traveller hefted The Baron off of the ground with enough zeal to send his chubby legs zipping into the air, and he yelped, fearing that Traveller might send him soaring into the stratosphere. The descent was, fortunately, far gentler than that, and Traveller patted The Baron on the shoulder when he touched ground again. The Baron felt restrained power in Traveller’s hand, a power rivalled only by the girl he’d helped create.
I chose well with him, The Baron thought. He looked around for Eve, but she was nowhere to be found in the remains of the cave. Maybe a bit too well.
What remained of their hiding place was little more than a rocky covering, largely exposed to the sky and filled with chunks of dirt and stone. Cedric was nearby, sitting in a broody hunch, and Antonio stood beside him, surveying the landscape. Their goblin scout’s grave - The Baron had already forgotten his name - lay at the rear of the cave’s remains, formed of fallen rocks. At least, The Baron assumed it belonged to the goblin. It had to belong to the goblin.
He pointed at the grave. “That’s the goblin’s, right?”
Traveller scratched his head. “Uh. No. I don’t think so. I think it belonged to… a pink… elephant… with a slender moustache…”
“So, yes, the goblin’s,” The Baron said, nodding with satisfaction. He didn’t like goblins much anyway. “Where’s Eve?”
“Scouting,” Cedric muttered. He grabbed a stone and threw it so hard that it pinged off a boulder and disappeared into the sky. “I thought you could figure that shit out on your own, m’lord.”
“Oh.” The Baron shifted his glasses. “I… knew that. But, ah, I wanted to see if you… knew. Um.”
“You smacked your head hard, I guess,” Cedric said, chuckling a little. “n before you ask, yeah, Dragomir’s gone. Fuckin’ dragon airlifted him outta here. Seems t’be a trend with his damned family.”
The Baron sagged. He knew it already, had seen Dragomir’s legs disappearing into the sky as the dragon’s scaly body expanded - Was that Jeffrey’s dragon? I thought I saw scars - but Cedric’s confirmation somehow made it so much worse. The Baron scanned the skyline, as if he could possibly see Dragomir, but all he saw now was the shimmering form of the regulator’s blasted tower, outshining the early morning sun.
“Well, this couldn’t get much worse,” he mumbled bitterly.
And, in truth, it didn’t, even though a massive Non head abruptly poked its head into the remains of the cave.